Ham Lake council addresses numerous road projects

by Eric Hagen
Staff Writer

At its Jan. 17 meeting, the Ham Lake City Council addressed a number of road project issues that its roads commission had discussed Jan. 12.

Some of the issues included reconstructing streets in the Hastings Hill neighborhood, doing a bituminous overlay of streets in the Livgard Acres neighborhood, accepting an almost $175,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to construct the Johnson Street service road on the northwest corner of Highway 65-Crosstown Boulevard and approving bituminous overlay projects for several other streets.

Constructing a new service road on the northwest corner of Highway 65-Crosstown Boulevard will be one of the bigger projects Ham Lake will take on in 2012. The project, including construction and engineering, is estimated to cost $395,441.10. City Engineer Tom Collins estimates the city costs will be $70,341.64. The city’s Municipal State Aid (MSA) fund, which is dollars that come from MnDOT through the state gas tax, will kick in an estimated $150,409.05. The Cooperative Agreement Grant from MnDOT closes the funding gap.

The new service road will head north from Crosstown Boulevard and cut east to connect to the existing service road. This segment will be reconstructed and end in a cul-de-sac before it reaches Crosstown Boulevard. The old service road lost its access to Crosstown Boulevard when Anoka County reconstructed the Highway 65-Crosstown Boulevard intersection a couple of years ago. The county was concerned about the proximity of the old service road’s access to the intersection.

Debates between the majority property owner Ron Braastad and the city on issues such as road alignment issues delayed the service road project. The city constructed a temporary road that had access to Crosstown Boulevard to help out the businesses on that corner that lost the old access. This segment will be gone once the new service road is open.

While this project is going on, Ulysses Street south of Crosstown Boulevard will be reconstructed. According to Collins, this is slated to cost approximately $74,000. This amount is included in the estimated project costs of about $395,000, but MnDOT’s Cooperative Agreement Grant will not cover any of the Ulysses Street costs.

Another sizable 2012 project will be bituminous overlays in three different areas with an estimated cost of $389,114.69. Of this total, $232,202.17 will come from MnDOT funds submitted to the city’s MSA account. This will be for the overlay of 149th Avenue from Naples Street to Lexington Avenue. Cities receive MSA dollars from MnDOT every year based on how many miles of designated state aid roads they have. State aid roads must be designed to handle heavier amounts of traffic. MSA funds can be used by cities for roads they designated as state aid roads. This segment of 149th Avenue is a state aid road.

The remaining $156,912.52 of the 2012 overlay project will be to overlay streets within the Homestead Estates development and to overlay the parking lot used for the public works department and tennis courts. The Homestead Estates portion of this total amount is about $104,000.

The Hastings Hill reconstruction and Livgard Acres overlay projects are being bid together because they are located by each other. The Hastings Hill portion is estimated to cost $215,751.33 while the Livgard Acres project may cost $23,968.50.

The Hastings Hill streets are 23.73 feet wide and will be widened to 24 feet, according to Collins. These streets were constructed in 1989. The existing bituminous will be reclaimed and used in the new road to save costs, according to Collins. The Livgard Acres streets were constructed in 1994. An overlay is meant to prolong the life of a road before a more expensive reconstruction is necessary. Construction on both these projects will take place from March through October.

Collins noted that the city will keep any leftover bituminous millings for use as a surfacing material for unpaved roads that need new millings. The council voted to use this year’s leftover millings on portions of Baltimore Street and 166th Avenue.

Eric Hagen is at [email protected]